Idlewar - Rite

Idlewar - Rite

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(CD, Off Yer Rocka Recordings, 2017)

Right from the start, the tracklist opener “Sullen Moon” from IDLEWAR's second full length album, “Rite,there are a lot of things happening. The muzzy rhythm in the initiating riff as well as the rather raw and mechanic sound lean towards Hardcore, while the beat and groove scream Grunge. On top of these, the vocals lean towards as soon as James Blake takes tone. SOUNDGARDEN's late Chris Cornell as well ALICE IN CHAIN's departed Lane Staley come to mind. James definitely has a very good voice with a great tone and range, but towards the down-tuned lead-heavy riffs backing it up, it becomes a little too clean on occasion.

What I like with IDLEWAR's music is the dynamics and play with harmonies (disharmonies) and rhythm, with “Keep Your Word” being a perfect sample of this. It goes from mellow to intense, both when it comes to music and vocals and it sounds fantastic. IDLEWAR really manage to mix the best parts of Grunge and Desert Rock which makes it interesting. And musically the performance is flawless. However, my biggest issue with “Rite” is that it's very neat, clean, polished and perfect. Listening to the greatest bands in the Grunge-scene, their performances were watertight too of course but there was some dirt, filth and Rock 'n' Roll in their music. The lack of edge doesn't make it stick, also, as James has such a good voice - some sticky melodies would have done the record good.

It does a lot, as for “Hold On” where the power can be felt and there's some rasp in the vocals. It's definitely one of the high-points of the record. Also, the waltz beat in “Strain” is very cool and stands out from the rest. And there are a few of these moments on “Rite”. IDLEWAR are definitely up to something good but as a whole album it becomes a little too much of the same.





01. Sullen Moon
02. Break
03. Keep Your Word
04. Sing Loud
05. Come To Save
06. Hold On
07. Strain
08. Panic
09. Caught
10. Hang
11. You’re Gone


James Blake - Vocals, Bass
Rick Graham - Guitar
Peter Pagonis - Drums